Mobile US, Sprint Working To Salvage Merger

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SoftBank's talks to merge USA unit Sprint (S) with T-Mobile US (TMUS) ended after months of negotiations, dashing investors' hopes for a wireless megamerger and signaling that unlimited data plans and heavy price discounting among USA carriers will continue.

T-Mobile has seen growth in customer numbers in recent years, which many view as a reward for pioneering more customer-friendly options such as dropping two-year contracts, The Associated Press reports. "However, we have been clear all along that a deal with anyone will have to result in superior long-term value for T-Mobile's shareholders compared to our outstanding stand-alone performance and track record".

Marcelo Claure, Sprint President and CEO added in the statement: "While we couldn't reach an agreement to combine our companies, we certainly recognize the benefits of scale through a potential combination".

The other day, Sprint majority owner SoftBank had made a decision to end merger talks with T-Mobile and its majority owner Deutsche Telekomover which side would have majority control of the combined firm.

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SoftBank plans to boost its stake in Sprint, already above 80%, by acquiring shares in the open market, people familiar with the matter said, though it won't seek full control.

Wireless carriers Sprint and T-Mobile have called off a potential merger, saying they could not come to an agreement that would benefit customers and shareholders.

In December, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son met at Trump Tower with then-President-elect Donald Trump, rekindling speculation that SoftBank would renew merger efforts under a Republican administration.

Sprint "look [s] forward to continuing to take the fight to the duopoly and newly emerging competitors", Claure said. But T-Mobile lobbed in a last minute counter offer and there was hope again that a deal could be salvaged. "We won't stop now".

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